S: Our Caribbean Cruise on the Emerald Princess - March 2012
FC: Cruisin' 2012 Shawn and Angel
1: Embarkation Day! | Saturday, March 17, 2012 | And we're off! 10 days of fun and pampering in the Caribbean on this phenomenal ship. Total distance, round trip = 2972 nautical miles or 3417.8 statute miles.
2: who are | Dermot & Paula Noonan | Shawn & Angel Blanchard
3: Our home away from home for the next ten days! We never wanted for a thing in our stateroom. Jim (from the Philippines) treated us as if we were Royals. We never left our room without it being refreshed again. The first thing we did after we set sail was drop our stuff off in the room and go EAT! Afterwards we went up to the sail away party on deck 15 where the band Xtasea was playing music ranging from disco to reggae to rock and roll.
5: Cruise Food Network! | When you go on a cruise, it is as if you are dining at a 5-star restaurant every single meal. When you sit down at the table, your chair is pushed in for you and a napkin is placed upon your lap. An open menu is placed in your hands and then... the gluttony begins! | Shawn loves the Food Network, so when we found ourselves in the Princess theatre watching a live cooking show with the top chef and maitre d, it was quite a treat. | After watching the show, we took a tour through the galley. | Each dish on the ship is made from scratch! | Warning: Cruise = Expanded Waistline!
7: Formal Night | Day 1 at Sea
8: I once placed a ring on your finger As a sign of unbroken love As a promise to care forever Today, I renew that promise And accept you to myself As one of God's gifts in my life
9: Renewing Our Vows | Love is like the wind, You can't see it... but you can feel it. | March 19, 2012 | Captain Giorgio Pomata officiated over our ceremony. | Day 2 at Sea
10: Antigua | Day 3 | Formed by volcanoes, the island's first settlement dates back to 2400 BC. Antigua is an English speaking island with a population of 85,000 and 365 beaches - one for every day of the year!
12: St. Lucia | Day 4 | The Arawak Indians settled in St. Lucia around 200-400 BC. Some historians believe Columbus landed here in 1502. The British and the French fought over this island for 150 years, but St. Lucia became an independent nation within the British Commonwealth in 1979. | We hired a driver and took a tour of the island. Along the way, we met Alpheus, who told us about about his life and what is like to live in St. Lucia.
14: Barbados | Day 5 | On this island, English tradition mixes with the African heritage brought by sugar plantation slaves to create a vibrant Bajan culture. Barbados became an independent country in 1966.
16: St. Kitts | Day 6 | Carnival vs. Princess? | St. Kitts/Nevis is a 2-island nation that has been populated for more than 5,000 years. It was originally a tobacco island, but turned to sugar cane. People from these two islands still harbor small grudges over regional identity. | Winner!
18: St. Thomas is named after the apostle, aka Doubting Thomas. This beautiful island is part of the US Virgin Islands and is just east of Puerto Rico. For such a tiny island - 13 miles wide by 4 miles long - we sure had a massively fun time there. We spent quite a bit of time with Pash and Danny at Lucky Jewelers where we upgraded our wedding rings to celebrate renewing our commitment to each other. Shopping in St. Thomas was a lot of fun with the open air markets and getting to haggle over prices with the vendors. | St. Thomas | Day 7
19: Dermot Noonan: Lizard Whisperer! While he was taking photos of the iguanas on the rocks, Paula encouraged Dermot to touch one of them. Dermot slowly extended his finger, only to have the iguana whip his head around and give him "the eye." Dermot jumped back and the iguana started chasing him. The crowd parted like the Red Sea, women were screaming -- and so was Dermot! The iguana wasn't fast enough to catch Dermot, but the whole ordeal had the four of us laughing for hours!
20: Grand Turk | Day 8 | Trivia: In 1962, John Glenn - the first American to orbit the earth - splashed down just a mile or two off the coast of Grand Turk.
21: Grand Turk is a tiny island - 6 miles long by 1 mile wide - and it seemed to be nothing but beach to us. We had so much fun moving along the beach from spot to spot, swimming in the beautiful, clear water and, of course, drinking the local rum! It was such a relaxing way to spend time at our last port.
25: Unable to get an earlier flight out of Ft. Lauderdale, we decided to spend the day at the beach. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed our last day of vacation eating, drinking and enjoying each other's company. | This vacation was absolutely magical. It will never really end as we will keep it in our memories forever...